•Julian Assange losing his appeal against his ‘judicial surrender’ under a European Arrest Warrant was sadly predictable. The verdict of the judges reinforces everything that I have been saying about the EAW since 2004. The judges’ ruling once again proves that extradition under an EAW is a bureaucratic formality and English courts have no power to consider the prima facie evidence against the accused person and no real power to refuse extradition.
Mr Assange is the most high profile EAW case and it highlights the fact that thousands of ordinary people are now being extradited to EU member states without the English court being allowed to consider the merits of the case against them or refuse their surrender. The doctrine of ‘mutual recognition’ of EU legal systems means that all member state legal and judicial systems are considered of equal status and quality. The EAW has turned many peoples’ lives upside-down – some of whom are subsequently found innocent and who would never have been extradited in the first place had the English court had the power to base their decision on the quality of the evidence, or lack of it, against them.
My advice now to Mr Assange is to seek political asylum on the basis that the Swedish case against him is being pursued for political reasons. One of my constituents, Dr Michel Angnolo Meizoso is now doing precisely that and I would be delighted to advise Mr Assange on how to go about it.